Tag Archive: Allergies


The struggle is real

Recently I wrote about my stomach problems. I’m here to give you an update. I finally went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with Gerd. Which I had already decided I had from googling the symptoms i was experiencing. I didn’t want to have it, but it was that or stomach cancer. He gave me some medicine and a list of foods to avoid. I took the medicine for a month and a half, then i starting having side effects. Now i am just trying to manage it with diet, avoiding acidic foods (tomatoes and citrus), coffee (very hard) and alcohol. I discovered i don’t have to avoid all alcohol and when i do eat or drink something i shouldn’t the flair ups are not severe because most of the time i’m being good but sometimes ….. I just have to have that cup of coffee.

Some of my symptoms are caused by allergies and intolerance. I discovered i’m lactose intolerant and allergic to eggs. In the midst of all this i decided to go back to being vegetarian further limiting my food choices. A friend asked me “Can you eat real food at all?” “No not really.” So its challenging, but i’m up to it. I feel so much better now. 

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Since I eliminated some foods: soda, processed meat, coffee and cutting back on others I have noticed some changes. For one thing, I really miss coffee. And my stomach is getting better. I am starting to pinpoint some foods that should definitely be avoided and some that I probably should eat more of. Also I need to eat more regularly and eat real meals instead of just snacking. I should eat less sugar also.

All this is an attempt to avoid going to a Gastroenterologist since I did that when I thought I had an ulcer. Meaning I know what tests they are going to want to do and I am not ready for that.

In the interest of healing myself, I googled probiotics and found some sites with lists of foods high in probiotics. There is a good slide show at Livestrong.com. Briefly the list is:

  • Green peas – raw
  • Dark chocolate
  • Natto – Japanese breakfast food
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Kombucha tea
  • Umeboshi plums -eaten by Samurai
  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut – unpasturized
  • Pickles – made with fermentation
  • Cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi

Looking over this list, there are some foods I recognize, some I don’t and some I never eat. I knew about yogurt and kefir, in fact I have been having a half cup of kefir in the morning and evening. I didn’t know about green peas although eating carrots and celery seemed to help. I knew dark chocolate had some good things for you. The fact that miso contains probiotics explains why I can eat the miso ramen. 6 foods are Asian, apparently the Asian way of fermenting foods either produces probiotics or doesn’t kill them. I never eat pickles, sauerkraut and never tried Kimchi because of the vinegar allergy, also I don’t like sauerkraut. Now I can claim that my allergies are killing me.

Progress is being made. I am writing down everything I eat so when I do have an ‘attack’, which is still happening I can look at what I’ve been eating and make adjustments. If nothing else, I know what to do to get relief. The pain doesn’t go away as quickly as it I had a pill to take, but it does go away.

Is my Keurig killing me?

The only appliance in my kitchen is a Keurig. Recently I read an article about the hazards of using a Keurig. After describing how you can never empty the water completely and the sludge and microbes and mold that will grow in it, she went on to talk about the foil that seals the top of the plastic cup and the actual toxicity of the plastic, I was convinced that the mold would kill me, or the foil would give me Alzheimer’s or the plastic would poison me and make life not worth living. Then I read an article that disagreed with the first article, convincing me that my Keurig is not a death ray masquerading as a single cup coffee maker.

Fully realizing that anyone can claim to be an expert and write anything and pretend it is Gospel, after all that is what all those anti-vaccine idiots did to convince gullible parents to not vaccinate their children and endanger us all. By the way, is it possible for an adult to get a pertussis vaccine shot?

It just so happens that I use a filter for my Keurig, so I don’t have the plastic cup and foil lid problems but there is the still the reservoir with its supposed mold growth. Here is where I put my own brain to use. I am extremely allergic to mold. If I was drinking mold everyday, in the form of my morning cup of coffee, I would be sick. But I’m not. So I’m still using my Keurig, and loving it.

This October has quite frankly, been awful. What with a friend’s cancer coming back (after 10+ years cancer-free), another friend going to visit her mother who has Alzheimer’s (and sending me text messages “My mom’s really not doing well.”), the episode on the Evil Green Train that I wrote about before, and another one that I didn’t write about but resulted in me missing a day from work, to my allergies and asthma flaring up (that resulted in $100 pharmacy bill) and my rosacea and eczema coming back (another $90), I want a do-over please. Oh did I mention, the Yankees got swept by the Tigers in the ALCS and THERE WAS A MOUSE UNDER MY STOVE!

What did I do today?

Today I went to work, yesterday I stayed home sick, either a cold (which is what I truly think it was) or bad allergies. So for most of the I lounged around in bed, had a lazy day. When I got hungry I realized I had to go out because there is very little food in my apartment. Of course I wanted Mac N Cheese, which meant that first I had to go to a store to buy a pan so I could make dinner. While I was there I picked up some other things I need. Then to the grocery store, and I bought all the boxes of gluten-free mac-n-cheese (well what if they stop carrying it?). When I got home I made some and ate it (not all, I put some away for lunches). Then I turned the game on to watch the Yankees lose (well I didn’t want to watch them lose, but that’s what happened).

Work was going fine, Jean came in and asked if I had heard anything about lay-offs. Noooooo, I really wasn’t thinking about lay-offs. Apparently people were notified by e-mail, I don’t know if that is even legal. 16 from my department. 1 from our Region. Not me, I have avoided detection by the powers that be once again. The big boss invited everyone to happy hour, or as she changed it to after the everything that happened, “Solidarity Hour”. I wasn’t going to go because it was raining, then it stopped and so I went. Had a relatively nice time (I mean it was work people, not my usual crowd). On the way I stopped at the Asian restaurant on the corner and got some spring rolls and steamed dumplings. Pretty good I thought.

Since yesterday was the last game of the regular season and tomorrow starts the ALDS tonight I updated my page of Yankee Records, check it out if you get a chance.

That’s all, says she.

Allergies

People aren’t born with allergies, it may appear that way, some people seem to have had allergies since they were born, this is not true, what is true is they developed their allergies very early. If their mother was allergic this makes them much more susceptible and much more likely to quickly develop allergies. As I discovered today, I am still developing allergies.

Em and D went to the Yankee game. The kids made crab legs, since they can’t have them when Em is home. I have never had a problem with crab legs, so I had some. I didn’t pig out, but I ate my fill. A little while later my throat got phlegmy, then the roof of my mouth and back of my throat started itching. My chest got tight and now I have a headache. So no more crab for me. Sigh.

And that’s all, says she.

Ah spring

That magical time of year when the days get longer and warmer, or at least are supposed to, green grass and flowers start to stick their little plant heads above ground and produce pollen. Sales of Benadryl skyrocket and allergists start to really earn money. Those of us with asthma triggered by our allergies stand around coughing into our jacket cuffs hoping the full blown asthma attack holds off until we find our inhalers, while onlookers wonder if we have the plague.

Yes spring. Spring can bite me.

More on Saturday

Saturday was good, and it was beautiful day. I was just so tired yesterday, and I had to write a blog post about the Yankee game and a review post about Yorkville Crêperie where we had lunch Saturday. So I actually did post more then just the pictures Sunday, but I wanted to come back and talk about the day. We started with lunch, during which Em decided she needs to make her nail appointment either early in the day or last thing before we leave. While she was getting her nails done I decided to get a pedicure. I forgot to tell her to use my lotion, an oversight I regretted later, but I’ll get to that later.

After the nail appointment, Em was going to a store she didn’t want me to come in with her (adult toy store). She said she was afraid I would giggle and get us thrown out. Probably would have. So I went to the park (Central Park) to wait for her. While I was waiting there were some men putting on a show. Then Em sent me a text and I went to meet her, then we cut through the park. Spring is in the air, I started sneezing. So we had to leave the park, later as we were walking on the sidewalk past the park, my nose started itching. I hate allergies.

Later when I took my socks and shoes off, I really hated them. I had a rash from the lotion. Nasty red bumps that itched. I don’t normally worry about the lotion, normally I am wearing sandals, but that day I had socks and sneakers on, so the lotion really got rubbed in, and I had shaved my legs in the past week or two. Sometimes, it is really hard being a girl.

And that is all, says she.

For me, a spring photo is either purple crocuses or a box of tissue. I decided that most people are probably tired of hearing about my allergies so I went with pretty purple flowers.

Enjoy. That’s all, says she.

Coconut oil

Recently there was an article in the NY Times, Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World, you can click on the link to read the article in full but in summary, at one time coconut oil was considered to be very bad for you, containing more saturated fat then butter, lard or beef tallow. It was the reason movie theater popcorn was so bad for you, because it was popped in coconut oil. Recently however, its been available in the health food stores and the attitude toward coconut oil is changing. Apparently, the studies were done on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, we all know any hydrogenated oil is not good for you. But virgin coconut oil isn’t so bad for you.

The article goes on to talk about how not all saturated fats are considered equal and while its uncertain if coconut oil, like olive oil, is good for you, in small amounts it is not bad for you.

However many good things might be said about coconut oil, I still won’t eat foods made with it, I like breathing better. Air in and air out is good, no air in and no air out is bad, very bad. This brings up two concerns of mine about coconut. First of all, coconut is not a very common allergy, so while you can look at the list of ingredients and at the bottom of the list in bold print, is whether or not the product contains, peanuts, wheat, milk, soy or tree nuts, coconut is not mentioned. Which brings me to my second concern, why don’t people consider coconut a nut? Doesn’t it have nut right in the name? And that tall thing it grows on, isn’t it called a palm tree? It makes me wonder where this woman’s head is:

Elizabeth Schuler, who writes the blog mycommunaltable.com, started baking with coconut oil after her son’s severe allergies to tree nuts, eggs and dairy were diagnosed. She searched out vegan recipes and was surprised by the number that relied on margarine and Crisco, a no-go as far as she was concerned.

This means I have to be super vigilant about coconut, it helps that I know what foods are likely to have it in them, Lindt Truffles, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Girl Scout Cookies, other high end chocolates, Häagen-Dazs® chocolate covered ice cream bars, some fudge ice cream toppings and some soft serve ice cream. And I read the labels, all the labels, every little ingredient.

Like I said, I like breathing, a lot.